JD Sports said it expected underlying profits to exceed £1bn for the first time this year this morning, as the fashion retailer continued to perform exceptionally well despite the cost of living crisis, ongoing macroeconomic “headwinds,” and changes at the top of the business.
The Manchester based company saw profits before tax and adjusted items of £991.4 million in the year ending January 2023, up from £947.2m on the previous year.
The retailer has seen a series of major structural changes including the appointment of a new CEO, Regis Schultz, last year.
However his exit does not seem to have hurt one of Britain’s biggest business success stories.
It comes as retailers have been pummelled by inflationary pressures, as well as supply chain issues which saw JD Sports stock of trainers take a hit in 2022.
Regis Schultz, CEO, said: “To further increase the Group’s profitability when the first half was impacted by the well-publicised international supply chain challenges, which resulted in the reduced availability of certain key footwear styles, gives me great confidence in both the strength of our market leading sports fashion proposition and the expertise of our colleagues.”
Andrew Higginson, Chair, said that “this has been another period of excellent progress for the group.”
It is currently ploughing ahead with a five year growth strategy, which has seen it eye expansion in North American and European markets. It said that 138 stores were now trading in North America, with 58 net new JD stores opened across Europe including first stores in Hungary, Lithuania and Greece.
Higginson said that it was important to “remain conscious of the headwinds that prevail at this time, including the general global macro-economic and geopolitical situation.” “
“Against this backdrop, assuming current exchange rates, we expect that the Group’s headline profit before tax and adjusted items for the 53 week period ending 3 February 2024 will be in line with the current average consensus expectations of £1.03 billion.”